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Pimp Your LinkedIn Profile: 5 Simple Steps

Let’s face it, LinkedIn — compared to any other social platform — means business. It’s the one place in the World Wide Web where everything (and we mean everything) job or career-focused comes together in one professional, blue-and-white bundle. It’s a meeting place where you can make connections, keep connections, share your wins, your glory, your story, and a global land where job recruiters seek YOU — and not the other way around! That means taking the time to make sure your profile stands out and is worth every second spent. To make it easy for you, we’ve tallied up the top 5 tips to pimp your profile and work LinkedIn like a boss!

1. Fill out your profile — and keep it fresh!

This one seems a little obvious but did you know that the most complete profiles on LinkedIn come up first in a recruiter’s search? You may be the best, hot-shot strategist in SA but you may never be approached for that dream project (that you didn’t even know was out there) because your profile is not completely filled in, or, it’s out of date! Put in the effort to fill in all the sections (don’t skip) and put it in your calendar to update your profile once a month. Also, don’t be shy: share and show off your work! Add a “Featured” section to your profile to show off new projects you’ve worked on, or work you’re really proud of.

2. Pick the Right Profile Photo

Okay, so you know that photo where you’re holding a cocktail (it wasn’t your first) at your cousin Musa’s wedding? Don’t use that one, please. Or let the rule be: don’t use anything you would use as a Facebook profile pic. LinkedIn is a professional platform and your photo needs to conform. This doesn’t mean you need to be all “corporate”! Choose something that’s fitting to you and to the field you’re in and, ideally, gives a good first hint about who you are. You’re aiming for something professional yet approachable; friendly yet respectable. You want to show that you mean business — with a smile. Quality is key, so low-resolution pics are a no-go and, if you really want to shine, invest in a professional headshot (or ask a friend who has some good camera skills) and you’re set to jet.

3. Make a name-only URL

You’re on LinkedIn because you want people to find you. So, first things first, ensure your profile is set to public! Then, you want to get rid of the very clunky URL that’s automatically generated and assigned to your profile (the one with the big string of random numbers) and replace it with a personalised one that’s cleaner and easier to share and to find. To change your URL, all you need to do is this:

  • Go to your profile

  • At the top right of your profile page click “Edit public profile & URL”

  • Again at the top right of the page, click the edit pen image button

  • Fill in “[First Name] + [Last Name]”

  • Done!

4. Get some great recommendations

Like any kind of review, recommendations and endorsements bear a lot of weight and help build credibility. Get in touch with the former boss who couldn’t stop raving about your communication skills and excellent work ethic and request her to leave a recommendation. Or the client who was bowled over by the way in which you handled last year’s workshop? Reach out to him too. Try to keep building these throughout the year and garner a list of strong endorsements — from a mix of colleagues, managers, clients — that really back and bolster who you are.

5. Work it like a pro.

If you really want to shine on LinkedIn, use it as the social media tool that it is. It’s essentially a networking space where you can link up — and “link in” — with anyone and everyone who professionally inspires you, anywhere in the world. So, stay active on it. Post your own updates, like, and comment on posts from industry leaders who inspire you, or people you want to build better connections with. Take part in forums and discussions, and follow industry-related groups that inspire you and teach you more about your field and your craft.

You got this. Go!

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